Monday, July 23, 2018

The ballast and greenery teams in action

 Well, Gale and Alan are hard at work putting up the green foam on the big hill when you first come in. I hope to have this section done in a couple of sessions.
 Jack and Mike are laying down the ballast in Reed. I have painted the track all the way through town so this is the next step. This area quickly ate 25 pounds of #40 dark grey ballast and I am switching to #30 to see if that stretches further.
 Rich had the night off from the fire house and came by to help. He did a really fine job getting the entrance to town down.
I bought one of those laser cut signs for Paxinos and painted up the station in PRR colors and added the station sign. The sign I got was unpainted but I think I will try a painted one next as it was a pain to add color. I sanded off about half the thickness of the sign and it looked much better.
 Ballast is in and now we have to get the ground cover in place.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Finishing the land and starting scenery.

 Now that the land is painted, we clean up everything and paint the track. I used Rustoleum Camo earth Brown for the main and a lighter brown for the branch.
 Everything got a good spray coat
 I am not too worried about the color on the hill as the foliage will cover that,
 Now I have started to add basic fine grass and browns to the land.
 This will give me a background color when I add the clumpier grass.
 You can see the contrast to the clumpier grass and the basic fine grass.
 Fine grass is going down - I use a tea sifterand diluted white glue to hold these colors down.
 I am going around the loop another time with this approach.

It looks pale but adds a nice touch. I find it is best to do this as if you just glue the coarser material, 
you may get big bald patches.
 Okay, we have gone all the way around the loop
 Now, we start to add the coarse material on the outside of the loop. I have to get this done so I can put the bridge back. I am using Scenic Express scrub grass with some other colors added.
 The outside is now done.
 Now I add the interior of the loop.
 All the way around.
 Next day, I add the outside of the hill.
 Looks a little patchy but not bad.
 Track is looking ready for ballast but I will wait on the lower, main line tracks until I finish the hillside on the right.
 Looks good.
 Over the top. I have to ballast and then I can add the bridge back/
Have to complete the fascia next as well.

Starting the branch grade to Reed and crossing of the main

 We have to build the land form for the grade up to Reed. I have put in the plaster on the left of the branch and now have to add the connection to the main along side it. Red Rosin paper is on the webbing.
 Coming around, I have to add  the webbing to continue.

 Webbing goes in - a pain as I have to work upside down as I stand inside the curve.
 Plaster cloth goes on the rosin paper
 Rosin paper is in.
 Plaster cloth now covering
 A coating of stucco goes on both sides of the curve. It has a tan color.
 The other side of the curve.
 Now we add the ground color - a 50/50 water/latex paint mix.
 Looks pretty nice
So, the basic land form is done.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Starting to Focus on the Main River - The Susquehanna

 This view is from over the river and I have removed the branch line bridge so we can finish the main line below plus the ground area leading to Reed.
 The branch has some embankment built but all is rough. I need to finish this area so i can reinsert the bridge to operate the layout.
This is the backside with the main line going into Northumberland and the branch coming down from Reed. This is going to take a lot of work to get built as I have large corners to fill in and there is little access. This wall we are looking at should feature Sunbury as that is what the main is going by. I do not know if I can make that happen. We shall see.

Finishing trackwork at Reed

 Well, for switching I need some uncoupling ramps. Ed has been testing using super magnets and we had come up with a format that seems to work.
 It involves drilling 10 holes for 1 inch speed screws using the template shown. Then you set the screws.
 Using a depth gauge, you get all the screws to the same height.
 Then you add the miniature super magnets. You take one side from the top of the stack and the other side you flip over as you carefully place them on the screw heads. If you are not careful, they all will snap together in a heart beat.
 Here is a car coming up to them.
 They really pull that coupler open and over.
 Template in place for the next one.
 After installing seven ramps, I have to paint the track to continue ballasting. This is a little trickier as the greenery crew got ahead of me.  They added the coarse greenery along the track making it harder to paint.
 The before picture with some masking in place. You can pick out the ramps.
 Protecting a stone wall
 Finished and I have added ballast and glue over the magnets to hold them down as the area awaits the ballasting crew. A big factory complex will surround that column.
Looks nice now. I am trying to find the appropriate photo backdrop. The problem is the shallow depth of the scene but the previous two backdrops make everything look naked without a photo.